Productivity is a must when you work in a team. If you don’t stay on track, deadlines will not be met. As a project manager, it’s your job to make sure your team stays productive. The key is to provide a great project schedule for your team so that they have a clear understanding of what’s to come. Don’t worry, it’s not as exhausting as it sounds. There are many techniques you can add to or improve on to make your scheduling process easier:
Toggl Plan provides a simple tool that allows the user to set any date as a milestone.The best way to describe a milestone within a project is “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Granted, there may be more tunnels after, but at least you get something to look forward to. That’s the exact purpose of a milestone in a project schedule! It’s a checkpoint where you can say that you’ve achieved success up until that point.
In addition to having that time to go over your progress so far, you also are able to break up big projects into smaller segments. A project seems a little less daunting when you take it one step at a time.
Organization skills are important! You should constantly be searching for new and simple ways to keep organization in your project schedule.
One of the best ways Toggl Plan has discovered is color coding. Built within the Gantt chart-style software is the color coding feature. You’ll be able to break down and organize projects based on color. It’s a great visual tool for both you as the project manager, and your team. Team members will be able to glance at the project schedule and see their color, and quickly be able to distinguish their tasks from others.
In order to avoid confusion, it’s always best to keep tabs on what you’ve done so far. This especially applies to the bigger teams out there. You should come up with a way to track exactly what’s been done, and what needs to be done next.
Don’t worry! If you’ve signed up for Toggl Plan, you have access to a new checklist feature. Just like how you add tasks to the schedule, you can also add them to the checklist feature for everyone to see. As certain legs of the project are completed, you can check them off, one at a time. It’s an excellent way to get a visual on the progress of the project.
In chess, the professionals think several moves ahead. This helps them play out scenarios and possible outcomes of each and every move. Now, I hate to break it to you, but nobody is going to be calling you the king and the team most certainly aren’t pawns, but you catch my drift. Think ahead and plan ahead as far as possible! You’ll save time later, when it might really matter, and your team can adjust their workflow accordingly. There are literally no downsides to planning ahead.
If you’re a new project manager, this is a little more difficult for you, but it’ll get easier.
After a few projects are under your belt, you’ll be able to track progress and time a little easier. Once you’ve gotten good at that, you’ll be able to make a project schedule a little easier, too. Pay attention to how long certain tasks take, memorize them, and use that knowledge to your advantage.
When you keep track of all this data, you’ll be able to recognize when your team isn’t performing at their best. Don’t freak out, it happens every once in a while. When times like these come up, you’ll notice them quickly, and be hands on immediately. Find the issue, resolve it, and encourage your team! You’re their cheerleader!
Assign tasks accordingly
Each and every one of your team members were hired for a reason. They know what they’re good at. Utilize their skills in every way, shape, and form you can think of.
Another topic that’s under this same umbrella is spreading the workload. You shouldn’t pile anyone’s plate with more than they can handle, and this includes yourself. Don’t be afraid to delegate and reassign tasks if you need to. The goal of the project is to get it done on time, and if something is holding you back from that, address it, and correct it.
Don’t freak out when plans don’t work out
In the fast-moving world of project management, it can be easy to slide off the rails sometimes. Of course, not every plan works out the way you wanted it to, but you should never take your eyes off the prize.
Before a project even begins, you should prepare for some detours. Be ready to change up the schedule quickly. How’s that saying go? Expect the best, but prepare for the worst? This rings true in project management. Always set your team up for success, but be ready when things start to go the wrong way.
Communicate this with your team. They should be just as prepared as you are, if not more prepared. Encourage each other, help each other, celebrate your successes, and learn from your failures.
Always optimize your resources and your team’s skills. In the world of project management, things can take sharp and drastic turns. You should always have team member’s backs, and they should always have yours.
To keep you and your team on track, you should create a project schedule that sets everyone up for success. Here are the key points we went over in this article to help you do so:
- Create milestones
- Stay organized
- Track progress
- Plan ahead
- Be accurate
- Assign tasks accordingly
- Don’t freak out when plans don’t work out
Follow these simple steps in creating a project schedule in order to best avoid chaos and frustration. Stay motivated, and take every project as an opportunity to learn and become a better project manager, and you’ll never fail.